Entrepreneurial mindsets and innovation: an empirical study on behaviours, skills and opinions of Australian visual artists

Williams, Crystal (2018) Entrepreneurial mindsets and innovation: an empirical study on behaviours, skills and opinions of Australian visual artists. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This dissertation is an empirical exploration into the extent to which a group of Australian visual artists acts in an entrepreneurial manner. This research is a response to employment challenges facing artists in an environment where it could be argued that Australian creative industries courses do not address employability skills.

While most arts practices are effectively small businesses, many professional artists lack the skills necessary to financially sustain a living from art. In the traditional business paradigm, entrepreneurial behaviours are considered good practice and contributing factors to success. However, rather than recognising and embracing entrepreneurship as a way of making and sustaining successful businesses, many artists reject it as not relevant to them and their practice. Reasons for this include a perception by artists, particularly within fine arts such as music, literature, visual art, performance and theatre that entrepreneurial values and behaviours conflict with personal and professional ethics, morals and ideologies.

Although some empirical studies have examined attitudes to entrepreneurship in music and theatre, few researchers have explored the perspectives of visual artists, particularly in an arts practice context. Furthermore, there are few studies that explore if or how visual artists apply entrepreneurship as a means for success. An aim of this research is to improve understanding of how visual artists approach risk-taking in the pursuit of livelihood and profit.

Using a mixed-method design, the study combines opinions from surveys of 160 Australian visual artists with an additional 12 in-depth interviews to inform the survey findings. Thematic analysis of the data collected in the interviews, triangulated with existing theories, deepens understanding of visual artists' entrepreneurial practices, and arts entrepreneurship in general.

This thesis proposes that more support mechanisms are needed to assist artists to manage risk when making decisions about their businesses, while staying true to their individual morals, values and beliefs. Findings suggest that artists could benefit from adopting a charitable mindset when it comes to helping their peers develop business skills and sharing common goals, and that higher arts education curricula should include studies to build ethical strategies in arts entrepreneurship and social capital as arts-specific business skills. The researcher recommends that a potential focus for future study in the area of arts entrepreneurship should be innovation in arts marketing.

Item ID: 57498
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Arts Entrepreneurship; Social Entrepreneur; Visual Artists; Innovation; Entrepreneurship
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2018 Crystal Williams.
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2019 01:42
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190502 Fine Arts (incl Sculpture and Painting) @ 30%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150304 Entrepreneurship @ 60%
15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150314 Small Business Management @ 10%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 100%
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